CESL Officially Launches the GRAM UJALA Programme

CESL Officially Launches the GRAM UJALA Programme

CESL has unveiled the GRAM UJALA programme, under which it plans to distribute LED bulbs at an affordable cost of Rs 10 per bulb in rural areas

Convergence Energy Services Limited (CESL), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL), has officially unveiled the GRAM UJALA programme. Under this programme, CESL will distribute high-quality LED bulbs, at an affordable cost of 10 rupees per bulb in rural areas. 

In the first phase of this programme, 15 million (1.5 crore) LED bulbs will be distributed across villages of Aarah (Bihar), Varanasi (Uttar Pradesh), Vijaywada (Andhra Pradesh), Nagpur (Maharashtra), and village in western Gujarat. Gram Ujala programme will be financed entirely through carbon credits and will be the first such programme in India.

The GRAM UJALA programme was launched by the Minister of State for Power & New and Renewable Energy R K Singh in Arrah, Bhojpur district in Bihar. At the launch, Singh said, “It is a moment of great pride and joy that we are able to find a solution that will provide affordable and high-quality LEDs to our rural population. I commend the efforts of Convergence (CESL) for their relentless work in taking the country’s vision forward. I am sure such commitment and effort will be replicated across rural areas of India.”

The programme is expected to have a significant impact on India’s climate change action with energy savings of 2025 million kWh/year and CO2 reductions of 1.65 million T CO2/year. The programme will enable better illumination, at an affordable price of Rs 10/bulb. This, CESL expects, will usher in a better standard of life, financial savings, more economic activity, and better safety for rural citizens.

Under the programme, 7 watt and 12-Watt LED bulbs with 3 years warranty will be given to rural consumers against submission of working Incandescent bulbs. The Gram Ujala programme will be implemented in villages of the 5 districts only and consumers can exchange a maximum of 5 LED bulbs. These rural households will also have metres installed in their houses to account for usage. Further on, carbon credit documentation will be sent to UN accredited validators for inclusion into the Shine Program of activities. Carbon credits will be prepared under the Shine Program of Activities with an option for verifying under the Voluntary Carbon Standard, depending on the needs of buyers. Carbon Credit Buyers will also be sought through an open process based on initial discussions with the market. The balance cost and margin on the LED cost will be recouped through the carbon credits earned.

Alok Kumar, Secretary, Ministry of Power said, “This is a very important initiative based on an innovative model utilising Carbon Credits. Gram Ujala will not only give a fillip to our fight against climate change by increasing energy efficiency, but also usher in a better standard of life, financial savings, and better safety for the citizens in rural areas.”

With price being one of the principal barriers, the GRAM UJALA programme has been designed to support widespread distribution by removing the chief barrier for rural consumers. In addition, the energy savings garnered will reduce household’s energy outlay, enabling higher disposable income and savings. The programme will provide clean energy access and make a significant contribution towards mitigating climate change and achieving a sustainable future.

Mahua Acharya, CESL’s CEO & MD said, “I am excited to be launching this initiative for rural India. It is innovative, but risky and yet extremely important as every LED used saves money for people and reduces the need for fossil fuel usage.”

Recently, we had reported that CESL had issued a tender, seeking private participation on a revenue-sharing basis for distributing 10 million LED Lamps under the Gram Ujala program. The last date to submit the bids is March 31, 2021.

CESL said it will obtain 70 lakh 12-Watt LED lamps for Rs 75 per bulb and 30 lakh 7-Watt lamps for Rs 42 for a bulb. The company said it will guarantee payment of 50 percent of the last discovered price, giving private companies assurance of a floor price.

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Ayush Verma

Ayush is a staff writer at saurenergy.com and writes on renewable energy with a special focus on solar and wind. Prior to this, as an engineering graduate trying to find his niche in the energy journalism segment, he worked as a correspondent for iamrenew.com.